LINC (Learning Innovation Catalyst) helps schools and teachers achieve real transformation through consultancy, professional development, and blended learning implementation.
At the core of LINC’s business is LINCSPRING — a customized, web-based, multi- user Agile Professional Learning Community System. LINCSPRING is used for school transformation and community development at client organizations, as well as streamlining and managing internal operations at LINC.
When LINC first started working with schools, the Learning Management System (LMS) they used was able to deliver their program to the schools they were serving, but with a high toll on the LINC operations team and a subpar user experience (UX). The basic online platform was restricting the company from extending its client base, and the rigid, unexciting user experience allowed for very little automation. As a result, there was poor user engagement as well as lot of ad-hoc, manual document processing on behalf of the LINC team.
LINC had anticipated this constraint and knew it would be exacerbated by the company’s growth, so early on they set their sights on a more customized solution.
When Tiffany Wycoff, Co-Founder of LINC, decided to partner with Koombea to build a customized solution, she and the LINC executive team had a clear understanding of the needs of the schools they served, but benefited significantly from the Koombea team’s expertise in honing the product design to match and prioritize those needs.
The increased use of digital tools and blended learning models in schools has resulted in a high demand for blended and personalized professional development for teachers, as well as a way to assess, track, and support organizational change. Although the team at LINC had a fairly concrete idea of how they wanted to address this demand with their own application, it was Koombea’s critical analysis that won their business.
“The Koombea team never tried to sell me on the fact that I needed to work with them to develop LINCSPRING. Koombea forced us to consider precisely which aspects of our MVP would be critical to our success — and we were able to launch a new solution quickly thanks to that critical analysis.”
With a modern, holistic, intuitive solution to offer educators, LINC quickly acquired new business throughout North and South America, proving just how hungry the industry was for a hi-tech, customizable Professional Learning Community System.
LINC required a full-featured solution that would enable growth and collaboration across the organizations they work with
With no in-house IT team, LINC’s options were relatively limited, so they began exploring third party solutions. Initially they chose an existing LMS in the education marketplace, knowing it would be a temporary solution for what they needed to build.
With the off-the-shelf LMS in place LINC was forced to deal with the following limitations:
- The lack of data for supervisors to see the progress of the organization was a critical missing component of the LMS. The aggregation of data fell on the LINC Project Manager which created a large impediment to scaling the business.
- Limited integration options caused problems with organizing materials and assigning deadlines to projects for users.
- File management needed to be done manually so that each organization could have its own copies of the key forms and templates LINC was creating.
- Permissions rules and a lack of user management created security issues, as too many users had editing access to documents.
- A lack of customizable and well-organized community discussions led to low participation by the teachers within the LMS classes.
Due to the rigidness of their off-the-shelf LMS solution, LINC was unable to optimize processes.
The company had to invest large amounts of time to onboard each client and train users of the platform. This case-by-case, manual time investment resulted in huge challenges as the company aimed to scale its business.
It was clear that in order to successfully deploy their methodology, LINC needed a customized solution that would provide flexibility and autonomy through features such as learner sharing, multi-level access, progress and goal tracking, co-creation of content, and automated updates.
Studies show that on average, an employee spends up to 60% of his or her time per day managing and consolidating documents containing different records. Employees in the education industry are no different. LINC needed to offer tools and software that would not only streamline employee efficiency, but also support personal growth.
While the company’s previous solution provided a consistent experience for teachers and administrators, the LINC team knew they would need a platform that enabled unique and customizable experiences at the administrative and instructional level.
After conducting research, the team found that the market was crowded with solutions that claimed to optimize both teaching and training strategies and processes in schools. In fact, the global eLearning market is expected to grow at a compounded rate of over 7% each year, reaching $325B by 2025.
However, what LINC found was that the tools in the market didn’t actually impact the way teachers and learning operated.
“None of the existing platforms created a methodology that would impact behavior in teachers, so we needed a solution that included an assessment process, and that optimized professional learning so that there would be change and growth in behaviors and cultures in schools. Ideally, this solution would allow us to eventually bring these process optimizations to organizations outside of education as well.”
Wycoff knew her company needed a solution that would allow for full control of the user experience (UX), including the co-creation of tasks and add-ons.
A customized, multi-user Professional Learning Community System enables organization-wide, job-embedded learning optimization and change
Since partnering with Koombea, LINC now has their own customized, web-based, multi-user platform that allows them to centralize and manage all business operations, as well as catalyze generative change at schools — LINCSPRING.
With defined goals and a substantial amount of market data in hand, LINC partnered with Koombea to structure the concept of their solution, including the key features and benefits that would be needed. After having put so much effort into the form and function, it was imperative that this vision be properly brought to reality by Koombea’s development team.
Some of the most important elements that were included in LINCSPRING to ensure a successful launch were built-in features such as:
- Collaborative and social learning tools
- Personalized playlists for professional learning
- Research-based methodology embedded into learning cycles
- Community Discussions
The platform now serves as a comprehensive, holistic solution designed for intuitive usability. Accordingly, educators are now able to receive training more efficiently and effectively than ever before, and in turn, client organizations are able to facilitate generative growth and innovation, as well as reduce costs.
Client organizations that use LINCSPRING today are able to capitalize on the following benefits.
A responsive UI
Designed for the modern user and laid out just how LINC wanted it.
A fully customized UX
User dashboards are streamlined, and only display the information that is relevant to the success of a particular user’s job function.
Enhanced data security
Defined user roles enable clients to move beyond universal platform access via pre-determined and controlled accessibility.
Collaborative learning tools
User roles help to maintain collaborative data flow across departments at client organizations, which as a result enhances communication.
With no software or hardware to buy, install, or maintain, Koombea handles all I.T. responsibilities for LINC.
“I LOVE the Koombea team, and would recommend them to friends and colleagues in search of a development partner without hesitation.”
LINCSPRING serves as a one-stop- shop for optimizing all business processes
While there are a plethora of methods that can be used to improve business performance, building and providing the right Professional Learning Community System was the most critical element of LINC’s business success.
From providing more personalized experiences for users, to enabling client organizations to improve communication and collaboration, LINCSPRING has completely transformed growth and learning at client organizations for the better.
Today there are over 500 users in LINCSPRING, and the company expects to have 1000+ daily users in the platform by 2019.
“We’re blown away by where LINCSPRING currently stands,” explains Wycoff. “Koombea was able to bring the idea in our heads to reality. With a previous development partner, we were using an existing platform and determining what we could put into it. With the Koombea solution, we were amazed by how well it fit exactly what we were looking for — from the customizable UX and the platform’s integration with G Suite, to the overall intuitiveness of the UI.”
But it’s not just the LINC team that has been enjoying the upgraded nature of LINCSPRING — their clients have rave reviews as well.
“So far, all of the feedback I’ve gotten from clients has expressed that LINCSPRING is incredibly intuitive, easy-to-use, and customizable,” says Wycoff. “Clients are even saying that they want to start using the platform with their students to create learning cycles for them. We’ve opened up a whole new potential opportunity if we decide to offer LINCSPRING as a student LMS!”
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